The H1B visa program is a temporary nonimmigrant visa category that allows U.S. employers to hire foreign workers in specialty occupations. The H1B visa program is subject to an annual quota, also known as a cap, which limits the number of visas that can be issued each year.
The annual quota for H1B visas is currently set at 65,000, with an additional 20,000 visas available for foreign workers who have earned a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. institution of higher education. This means that a total of 85,000 H1B visas are available each year.
There are certain exemptions from the annual quota for H1B visas. For example, H1B visas are not subject to the annual quota if they are being used to fill a position at a higher education institution or a nonprofit research organization. In addition, H1B visas are not subject to the annual quota if they are being used to fill a position that requires highly specialized knowledge and the foreign worker has been employed in a similar position outside the United States for at least one year within the three years preceding the date of the petition.
It’s worth noting that the annual quota for H1B visas can change from year to year depending on the demand for foreign workers with specialized skills. The U.S. government may adjust the annual quota to meet the needs of U.S. employers.